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Arthur Remillard Jr.

1930 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Arthur Remillard Jr. Obituary
Arthur J. Remillard Jr.

Boca Raton, FL - Arthur J. Remillard Jr. of Boca Raton, FL passed away peacefully at the age of 87 on Wednesday, November 28, 2018, surrounded by his family.

Arthur is survived by Elizabeth Seraphin, his love and partner for over thirty years; his children Arthur J. Remillard III and his wife Debra of Sutton; Robert P. Remillard and his wife Deborah of Croydon, NH; Renee A. Granger and her husband Lawrence of Newtown Square, PA; Danielle A. Haxton and her husband Michael of Sunapee, NH; Regan P. Remillard of Boston; a brother, James (Bing) Remillard of Framingham; and a sister Jacqueline (Jackie) Ericson of Chatham; 16 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and numerous nephews and nieces.

Arthur was born in Auburn, MA. He is predeceased by his parents Arthur J Remillard and Grace (Dion) Remillard and his sister Mary Joanne Plante.

After serving as Gunnery Yeoman in the US Navy during the Korean Conflict, Arthur graduated Clark University in 1956 with a degree in accounting. While his first professional experience focused on public accounting for various organizations, Arthur, an entrepreneur at heart, quickly turned his focus to business and finance. Early in his career he was an incorporator of the Shrewsbury Bank and Trust, subsequently acquired by Commerce Bank and Trust of Worcester. Later, he was a member of the management and ownership team of the Nu-Way Supermarkets chain, as well as the Key Discount Center chain of stores. At one point in his career, he owned two local newspapers, the Webster Times and the Auburn News. Later in his life Arthur received honorary doctorate degrees from Assumption College, Clark University, and Nichols College.

Arthur entered the Massachusetts insurance industry in 1966 by purchasing the Clark Insurance Agency of Webster and Oxford and later the Prout Insurance Agency, which he combined into the Clark-Prout Insurance Agency, a fixture in Webster for many years. As an insurance agent, he was well positioned to witness the problems and opportunities that existed in the automobile insurance business in Massachusetts in the late 60s and early 70s. With those opportunities in mind, Arthur in 1972, along with a number of local investors, formed The Commerce Insurance Company and entered the Massachusetts personal lines insurance market focusing primarily on automobile and homeowner insurance. From modest beginnings and after a financially challenging initial two years, the company grew rapidly and moved its' company headquarters to Main St in Webster in 1982, where many of the company's operations remain today. In 1987 The Commerce Insurance Company was placed under the ownership of a new holding company entitled The Commerce Group Inc which ultimately became a public company listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1995, the same year it began the acquisition of insurance companies in other states. At the time of Arthur's retirement in 2006, Commerce was the leading writer of automobile and homeowner insurance in Massachusetts, the 19th largest personal automobile insurer in the United States, had expanded into other northeast states and had acquired insurance companies in California, Ohio, and New York. At that time Commerce underwrote $1.8 billion in insurance premiums generated by independent insurance agencies and serviced by 2,100 employees. In 2008, Commerce Group Inc was purchased by MAPFRE Insurance, the largest personal lines insurance underwriter in Spain. All Commerce employees were retained.

As Arthur's business successes grew so did his charitable giving, most often supporting organizations that served the neediest in the communities where he lived and worked. Through his family foundation, he was a leading contributor to the UMASS Memorial Medical Center, the largest healthcare provider serving the residents of central Massachusetts. Other local public charitable organizations benefited by Arthur's philanthropy include the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, Partners in Charity, the Hubbard/Harrington Hospital in Webster and the Head Start program also of Webster MA. Arthur also gave generously to various central Massachusetts educational institutions, Boys and Girls Clubs, and numerous food bank programs. In Boca Raton, Florida, he helped finance and build Boca Helping Hands, the largest food bank, career training and support center for underprivileged residents of Boca Raton.

His son, Arthur J Remillard, III, said of his father, "our Dad was a highly intelligent, focused, ambitious man who cared deeply about his family, his community, and the less privileged among us. He touched and enhanced the lives of so many in central Massachusetts, Florida, and beyond. We mourn his passing but celebrate his life, his accomplishments, his compassion and his generosity".

Calling hours are Monday, December 3rd from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Mercadante Funeral Home, 370 Plantation Street, Worcester. Private services for the family will be held Tuesday morning.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in memory of Arthur to the Webster Dudley Food Share, 4 Church St, Webster, MA 01570; Boca Helping Hands, 1500 NW 1st Court Boca Raton, FL 33432; or the Worcester County Food Bank, 474 Boston Turnpike Road, Shrewsbury, MA 01545.

Published in Worcester Telegram & Gazette from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, 2018
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